The Orient Express gives the theme for this vintage-rich collection of classic patterns and articles. Regular readers may have realised I have a bit of a vintage obsession (note my recent distractions during the BBC's South Riding), so Knitting 88's 1930s inspirations were guaranteed to get a thumbs up from one regular reader at least.
Especially with an interview with vintage knitter to the stars Lise-Lotte Lystrup and a technique feature on adapting lace stitch patterns.
But to be honest I would have been happy with just the pattern pictured here. I want to cast-on the DK Round Yoke Sweater (left) from Bergere de France right now and am mentally reviewing my stash as I write. The small of set collar, ribbed circular yoke and lace body and sleeves are right out of a Poirot or Marple TV adaptation (and yes I an distracted by knitwear in those too) and it would look great with a tweed skirt or wide legged trousers. Those same construction attributes make it an interesting knit - expect it on a penguin very soon.
Sian Brown's Sailor Top is another classic - hip length, striped cotton DK stocking stitch with a v-neck and draping collar tie. It is a simple, familiar design that would work in a range of colour combinations.
Different colourways are also worth thinking about for Tina Barrett's Beaded Bolero. Produced here in a deep purple alpaca DK with gold beads this pretty puff sleeved tie neck fastening garment has an evening look, but a lighter shade with pearlised beads would transform it to a summer day time cover up. It may even be worth considering whether there is a suitable cotton yarn.
Wavy Lacy Cardigan from Fiona Morris is another handy DK option for our summers. Long line, with a slight tunic shape and simple lace panels, it will look good loose or belted over a simple cotton summer dress.
A quick mention for Alison Pierce's lacy Simplon Cape - Miss Marple would love it but I'm not sure if I'm a cape person. But it is made with possum yarn which is something I've just discovered.
And for a bit of fun how about a Chinese inspired colour work felted carpet bag. Not something I'd usually think of but I'm rather taken with Jeanette Sloan's Orient Doctor's Bag.
Of course I don't love everything. Suzie Lee's Dogtooth Skirt is pretty much what it says on the tin and depends on how you feel about knitted skirts.
The Fairy Leaves Shrug from Nicky Epstein gave me more pause for thought. In the pictures this is simple shrug with gathered sleeves but then I realised it was made up of rectangular lace panels joined together. This to me always has an element of risk because if you don't get the tension of your joins even and are v careful with your blocking there is a strong chance that you will have gathering and bagging in the final garment.
But these are minor quibbles compared to Martin Storey's Pimpernel - when I tried to describe it all I came up with was a baby blanket with a hole in the middle in Kidsilk Haze so thankfully I found a picture.
Why oh why?